We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!

2 Sep

Following Tracy McGrady’s announcement on ESPN’s First Take last week that he was to retire from the NBA, the burning question in everyone’s mind is whether his name has a future in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  I think the debate of whether T-Mac belongs in the HOF boils down to the study of two sections of his game; Regular season and Playoffs.

When I think about regular season McGrady I think of one of the most dominant scoring machines during the 2000s.  During monstrous seasons at both Orlando and Houston where he was consistently compared with Kobe Bryant for the league’s MVP, T-Mac racked up two scoring titles, made two NBA first teams and joined an elite group of players, namely Michael Jordan(fairly good at basketball), Wilt Chamberlain(100 point Wilt) and Elgin Baylor(invented the jumper), who averaged 32 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5 assists in a season.  He amounted 18,000+ points over an illustrious sixteen year NBA career not to mention breaking numerous franchise records along the way. Oh, and of course who can forget 13 in 33?

And now for the fork in the road; Playoffs.

Tracy McGrady did not have a post-season.  Ever.  In the seven seasons which T-Mac actually played in the Playoffs his team never made it past the first round.  No, this is not a typo, close that wikipedia tab.  It didn’t happen.  This is where McGrady’s HOF eligibility gets the big denied stamp with me.  He was never “the guy”.  During T-Mac’s hay-day he was probably number two in the league, behind Kobe.  Kobe was “the guy”.  When Kobe’s team was down, he got his Kobe face on, nailed a couple of fadeaways and boom, five rings.  Of course you can argue that McGrady was plagued with injuries throughout his career and that the roster around him couldn’t have been lifted by anyone but that is just quite simply not Hall of Fame.  This is not the Hall of “Good for a Few Years”.

Tracy McGrady of the Houston Rockets

When I think of Hall of Fame I see Bill Russell and his eleven rings, Wilt’s 50 ppg season, Michael Jordan holding six rings and five MVP awards, I don’t see two scoring titles and a five year dominance making the cut.

Final thought: Fifteen other players have retired with 18,000+ points, 5,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists and all been inducted into the HOF, however they all have much more highlighted post-season.  I want T-Mac in there! I want it! But I think he will be haunted by chants of “he never made it past the first round!” And “he played well for about three seasons!”  It’s a no from me.